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hello there. it's thursday september 30th, 11:00 a.m. in tokyo. welcome to another edition of "newsline." the united states and china have agreed to resume military ties, which had been cut off early this year when the u.s. decided to sell arms to taiwan. the u.s. defense department says the agreement was made at a meeting in beijing on wednesday, with deputy assistant secretary michael schiffer and chinese officials. the two countries agreed to expand dialogue and deepen
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military cooperation. they'll hold working-level talks in hawaii in mid october. a vice ministerial meeting -- or vice ministerial-level meeting is scheduled later this year in washington. the two sides had recently started to improve bilateral relations. u.s. president barack obama met chinese premier wen jiabao in new york last week. they confirmed the need to deepen economic and security ties. a former deputy secretary-general of the main governing democratic party is now in china in a bid to repair the frayed ties between japan and china. relations soured after japanese authorities detained the captain of a chinese fishing boat that had collided with japan coast guard patrol ships earlier this month. the incident occurred near japan's senkaku islands, which are also claimed by chinese, or china-k and taiwan. japanese prosecutors released the captain last saturday. goshi hosono arrived in beijing on wednesday.
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party sources say he's believed to be talking with chinese officials and will return to japan thursday night. prime minister naoto kan told reporters that he knows nothing about hosono's visit. meanwhile, there are concerns that the strained relations may have a negative effect on tourism. but the head of japan's tourism agency says only a few chinese have cancelled trips to japan for the holidays later this week. hiroshi mizahata said chinese authorities order travel agencies in beijing, shanghai and elsewhere last week to stop promoting tours to japan. he added it has yet to be revoked. mizahata said many chinese tourists are expected to come to japan october 1st through the 7th, when china celebrates its founding. the agency, however, has found that reservations have dropped significantly after the holiday period, defying earlier expectations. it's closely monitoring the situation and is urging travel agencies in china to promote trips to japan through the internet.
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the united states has imposed sanctions on eight iranian officials for violating human rights during and after the country's presidential election in june last year. the u.s. government says the sanctions target eight senior iranian officials. they include the commander of the islamic revolutionary guard, mohammed ali jaafari and the prosecutor general, golam hussein mofseni ajai. the sanctions freeze any assets the eight might own and bars them from traveling to the united states. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton and treasury secretary timothy geithner told a news conference on wednesday that the officials were involved in the arrests and abuse of human rights activists and reporters. they said reformist political parties and newspapers were shut down following the presidential election. >> our solidarity with their victims and with all iranians who wish for a government that respects their human rights and
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their dignity and their freedom. >> it's the first time the u.s. government has imposed financial sanctions on iran for human rights violations. japanese foreign minister seiji maehara has criticized a joint statement by russia and china commemorating the 65th anniversary of the defeat of japan in world war ii. russian president dmitry medvedev and chinese president hu jintao released the joint statement in beijing on monday. a japanese foreign ministry spokesperson told reporters that maehara made the criticism in a meeting with russian ambassador to japan mikhail bely on wednesday. in the meeting maehara said he finds it hard to understand why russia and china issued such a statement 65 years after world war ii. he said japan cannot help but wonder whether the russian government truly hopes to further develop relations with japan, something which russia says it places priority on.
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north korea has reacted sharply to a joint u.s.-south korean military drill that began on monday, threatening to strengthen its nuclear deterrence. north korean deputy foreign minister pak kil yom made the remarks on wednesday at the u.n. general assembly in new york. pak said the north's nuclear weapons are not for attacking others but a deterrent. he said the weapons are justified. he added that the country is country is ready to join international efforts for non-proliferation and safe management of nuclear material as a responsible nuclear weapon state. he warned that the nuclear deterrent will not be abandoned but rather strengthened as long as a u.s. nuclear aircraft carrier remains in nearby waters. pak did not refer to kim jong un. as dolphin hunting season gets under way in a small town in western japan, activists say they sabotaged holding pens for the animals.
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a european conservation group has claimed responsibility. the fishery cooperative in taiji town in wakayama prefecture says that nets in half of the 14 pens in a local bay were found cut at a depth of about two meters on tuesday. the pens were being used to hold about 30 dolphins caught in the town's traditional hunt, which started this month. none of the dolphins, which were destined for aquariums, has escaped. the conservation group the black fish says on its website that its divers cut the nets. the fishery cooperative says the hunt is being carried out with the permission of the prefecture and calls the sabotage illegal and unacceptable. japanese police are investigating the case. taiji's hunt was depicted critically in the u.s. documentary film "the cove." anti-whaling activists from abroad have been visiting the town since the start of the hunting season. and now we take a look at the latest in business. ines matsuyama joins us for the latest. >> thank you very much,
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catherine. hello. the u.s. house of representatives has passed a bill that includes sanctions against china aimed at prodding it to appreciate its currency. the house on wednesday had its final session of deliberations on the bill, which will allow duties to be slapped on chinese imports unless the yuan is raised. the bill was approved with the backing of bipartisan members, with 348 votes in favor and 79 against. it is the first time that the house of representatives took a vote in its plenary session on a sanctions bill against china's currency policy. the senate is expected to debate a similar bill after corporat n congressional elections in november. frustration is growing among u.s. lawmakers because the yuan has hardly appreciated despite china's promise in june to raise the flexibility of its currency. the latest move is likely to raise tensions between the two countries in the run-up to u.s. midterm elections and the next group of 20 summit in november. for more on the currency issue between the u.s. and china we spoke to uva papat, chief
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economist at cantor fitzgerald capital markets in hong kong. >> well, so far the results are non-existent, really. the issue has been around for many years, and the chinese position has remained pretty much the same. >> reporter: parpart says china does not show any signs of budging on its currency stance. >> i think from a chinese standpoint the currency is a monetary policy tool and it can be used like any other monetary policy tool. the best thing that china could do on occasion is to appreciate the currency to prevent imported inflation from taking place. and i think if there's any reason why they would ever appreciate the yuan faster is if that concern becomes very
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significant. >> reporter: at the meeting with wen jiabao u.s. president obama further pressured china to immediately revalue the yuan, saying if china doesn't take action the u.s. has other means of protecting its trade interests. but parpart points out it's difficult to change the trade situation by just a currency policy shift. >> on the export front i know of no case in history where the appreciation or depreciation of any given currency has really made a long-term impact on trade. you know, i'll give you an example on a different country, germany. the german exports are almost independent of the value of the euro. because the type of things that germany exports hardly anybody else makes. so the cost is not really that much of an issue.
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similarly, there are so many long-term contracts between chinese manufacturers, u.s. buyers, and so on, that this is not going to make much difference. and this is the reason why the major manufacturing associations in the united states actually oppose this legislation. the american chamber of commerce in shanghai went to send a delegation to washington to lobby against this legislation. so the americans themselves i think know that this is going nowhere. >> reporter: many experts believe the biggest reason for china to consider revaluing its currency will be soaring import prices. parpart says unless china suffers from inflation it will not consider appreciating its currency. >> i think in the near future we will see the currency to slowly appreciate. essentially, since the middle of june we've seen about 2%
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appreciation from 2005 to 2008 before the financial crisis hit we saw 20% appreciation. so if a slow appreciation now goes on, i think everybody should actually be happy and live with it. >> that was uwe parpart from cantor fitzgerald. the bank of japan says domestic capital investment will likely fall for a third consecutive quarter in fiscal 2010. the strong yen continues to dampen the economic outlook. overall, corporate spending on facilities for the year through march is expected to decline by 1% year on year. that's according to the tankan business sentiment survey released on wednesday. smaller firms will probably pose the biggest domestic investment declines, with some planning to cut it by 15%. that's much higher than 3.8% drop for leading medium-sized firms. meanwhile, large businesses say they will boost spending by 2.4%. it's weighing down on firms' profits. its current level is higher than
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what companies had forecast for the second half of the current fiscal year. if the yen continues to rise, companies may be forced to move facilities in japan to emerging economies in asia. meanwhile, japanese importers are trying to take advantage of the strong yen. manufacturers are attending a trade fair in seoul to discuss the acquisition of cheap parts and materials from south korea. the japanese and south korean governments organized the two-day event, which started wednesday. 22 japanese firms are taking part in the fair. among them electronics and automakers. with the yen still riding high, they're hoping to save money on parts and materials. the currency's value has risen by about 10% against south korea's won in the past six months. more than 100 south korean companies are taking part in the fair. they want to increase exports to japan while the yen is high.
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tokyo stocks fell just below the 9,500 level on thursday morning. the nikkei 225 ended the morning session at 9,494 points, down 0.7%, or 65 points almost. trading was mixed. some investors sold shares, taking their cue from overnight losses on wall street. but others bought, anticipating additional monetary easing by the u.s. and japan to prop up their economies. the dollar's moving in a narrow range against the yen due to wariness over a possible
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intervention by japanese monetary authorities. the dollar is currently trading between 83.62 to 65. the euro is now at 113.84-89. sources say that the market fears another possible round of intervention as the yen is rising to the level it reached before september 15th, when japanese authorities stepped in. and in asian markets hong kong's hang seng opened 0.4% lower, or almost half a percent lower. the shanghai key index for major blue chips is up 0.7%. and in shenzhen the sse composite is up 0.4%. japanese researchers say they've developed a hybrid vehicle motor that does not need rare earth minerals. the new energy and industrial technology development organization at hokkaido university teamed up for the project. air earth metals such as neodimium and disprozium are use
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the in magnet of motors to boost their performance. but researchers say they succeeded in enhancing the magnetic force by using more coil wires they have developed a motor with just about the same capacity as one using rare earth metals. the group plans to work with the automakers to put the technology into commercial use. rare earth metal prices are soaring after china effectively restricted their exports. the country produces over 90% of the minerals consumed worldwide. next is a recap of the latest market figures.
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♪ >> and that's all for now in biz news. back to catherine. >> thanks very much, ines. research on the international space station is giving mankind a deeper understanding of what it would be like to live in space. yuko aotani listens to a firsthand account for "newsline's" one on one. >> reporter: the human body was never designed for living without gravity. the real effects it could cause both physically and psychologically were once unknown. but not anymore.
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at least for some. astronaut soichi noguchi stayed in space for 163 con experiencey of life up there firsthand. mr. noguchi, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you very much for having me. >> now, traveling in space has been going on for several decades, but staying up there is relatively new. what's the difference between a few days and a few months? >> mm-hmm. you know, the staying for a few weeks is like running 100 meters in the olympic games versus staying longer is like running a marathon. so you have to keep yourself in -- you have to pace yourself basically. and it's both physically and mentally, you have to be ready for the marathon. >> i see. now, what effects did you feel on your body from the long stay? >> well, first of all, your body get weakened because zero gravity is really easy for body. the muscle get weaker and your bone get much -- how do i say?
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more sparse. so you have to train, physically train every day in order to keep up with your degradation of your body. >> and you were exercising every day, right? >> every day. two hours. we have kind of a proposal from japanese university to investigate how the bone loss occurs during zero gravity. >> when you came back, actually, it looked as if you had a really hard time. >> you know, i cannot stand up. because one thing is your body get weaker. and also the other thing is your balance, sense of balance is so, how do i say, it's weird. you know. for six months you don't feel any gravity. and all of the sudden your body is reacting to the gravity and you cannot use your body to counteract with those sudden change in the gravity senses. >> how long do you have to stay on earth before you can go back up again to space? >> well, it depends.
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usually, people spend maybe about a year or two before you go back. yes, you need some time for rehabilitation. >> i see. your muscles sort of weakening in space, did it affect -- was it like -- how was it when you're thinking? >> very important point. as a muscle get weaker you feel like you're less energized, so less motivated. so doing exercise is -- one thing is to keep your muscle. the other thing is to, how do i say, stay energized and stay motivated. so after, as i said, every day we do two hours of exercise, and after exercise i feel like revitalized and get more energized. >> nasa right now is helping the miners trapped beneath the earth. what would you give, from your experience, there, any advice for them? >> i think it's really tough. one thing is they were not
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psychologically ready for the strong isolation. we were ready, but they are not. so i think it's really tough from this time. one thing -- my best advice is to have a good communication with the family on the ground so that everybody's think about you and the families are safe and all the families are waiting for your return, no matter how long it takes. so they -- how do i say? stay motivated. >> did you ever feel lonely or a bit scared or anything else? >> actually not. the one thing, we are six of us always on board, and you know, we are a pretty good team. and it's, you know, a feeling of staying connect is very important. i think it's a very important thing for the future also if the humans going to moon or mars, hope that they can have a good communication to earth and just a few like not isolated from the rest of the world. >> well, thank you very much, mr. noguchi. >> the pleasure is mine.
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very nice talking to you. >> nhk world's yuko aotani there speaking with astronaut soichi noguchi. now, this news just in. a story we're following very closely. china's state-run xinhua news agency said on thursday that three of four japanese detained there have been released. they were detained on september 20th by chinese authorities on suspicion of taking photos in a restricted military area. they work for the japanese construction company fujita corporation and its shanghai-based subsidiary. now, once again, for those of you just joining us, this coming in to us just minutes ago. china's state-run xinhua news agency said on thursday that three of four japanese detained there have been released. now, they were detained on september 20th by chinese authorities on suspicion of taking photos in a restricted military area. they work for the japanese construction company fujita corporation and its shanghai-based subsidiary.
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hi again, and welcome back to your world weather update. east asia today still looking at nice clear skies for the korean peninsula as well as high pressure here really keeping those clouds away. but we do have this frontal boundary here, just to the south of japan. it does continue to pack quite a bit of moisture. it's really going to be affecting a lot of japan today, central and southern portions mainly. but really some heavier spots of rain are going to be possible. so that will be something to watch out for. elsewhere, inland areas of china, too, seeing a little bit of rain here, starting to spread, but it should stay away from eastern sections at least for today. highs today looking like this. 20 in tokyo with clouds and the rain. it's actually probably going to feel a lot cooler than this. 21 for seoul. 23 in beijing. and we're expecting 21 for chongqing. now, across the americas still really dry picture. not much going on for a lot of the united states, as well as
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western canada. even down across northern mexico, too a very calm picture in terms of rainfall. but plenty of activity instead, focused here towards the east from the caribbean islands all the way along the atlantic seaboard. plenty of moisture in place for you today. we have this frontal boundary that's really mixing with all the remnant moisture from tropical storm nicole which formed briefly over cuba and then has since dissipated. but still a lot of moisture remains in the region. also looking at this system coming in towards eastern canada, too. so overall, all across this eastern section we're going to see a lot of wet weather falling in the next couple of days. especially heavy rainfall impacting areas along the mid-atlantic seaboard. a big concern here. it could easily trigger flooding and possibly landslides across the area. rafall accumulations are goi to connue pe over th next couple of days. and just the next tay w ctasuc lot rainfall affecting a wide
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